Saturday, January 26, 2008


Comic Art

Alex Ross


Neal Adams


Gil Kane

Friday, January 25, 2008


On Sin

Enthusiasmos at Mere O declares:
Entitlement is the only sin.
He arrives at this conclusion through and extensive reading and quoting of Thomas A Kempis.

Now, first of all, this is a mighty important point, one that needs to me made over and over and over again to the world. The flip side of entitlement is, of course, humility. There is so little of that around today. Says Enthusiasmos:
What we deserve is exactly and precisely nothing, nil, nada. So the appropriate affection springing from awareness of any fact is gratitude, joy, and thanks. Awareness of being rather than non-being, of life rather than mere mineral existence, of rationality rather than mere sentience, of self-awareness rather than stupidity, of freedom of choice rather than machine-like auto-motion, of the curse of physical death rather than everlasting slavery to sin, of forgiveness rather than wrath, of clear communication of his word rather than forsaking us in our transgressions, of showing us how to obey rather than just telling us, of the gift of divinity rather than the curse of bestiality of blessings rather than curses — the correct affection in every case is absolute, unqualified and life-shattering gratitude. Even awareness of God’s wrath is cause for gratitude, for he gives us his divine wrath rather than divine apathy. I would rather go to hell because God hates my sin than to lie on earth because God does not even care that I am sick.
Simply put, we are creature, not creator - nature, not supernature - man not God. In the end that is the root of all sin, our presumption that we are God.

Are you willing to sacrifice that perception of yourself? Are you willing to lay yourself on the altar and let God be God?

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Friday Humor

One evening as a family was eating dinner, the mother knowing that her young son Johnnie had been telling lot's of lies as of late, announced that she had made arrangements for her son to go over to talk to their priest. The priest had a good reputation for helping people who were compulsive liars.

The mother asks her son if he would go over to the parsonage and help the priest with some chores. So Johnnie being a very helpful kid went over.

At answering the door the priest ask Johnnie if he was at church Sunday, of course he lied and said yes.

"Well," said the priest, "I guess you seen what happened at church Sunday?"

"Yes" said Johnnie lying.

"Well I guess you saw that big grizzly bear come through the front door and up the aisle grabbing people from their seats and eat them alive?"

"Yeah" said Johnnie.

"Well I guess you saw that little dog come in right behind him, and stare each other down right in the middle of the church?"

"Yeah" said Johnnie, lying again.

After a few moments of silence the priest finally looked Johnnie straight in the eye and ask Johnnie if he honest to God believed that story.

Johnnie replied, without a quiver, "I sure do preacher, that was my Dog!"

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Thursday, January 24, 2008


Science Run Wild

A Classical Presbyterian links to a story out of the London Telegraph in which the paradox of Schroedinger's cat is used to create a new worry:
New Scientist reports a worrying new variant as the cosmologists claim that astronomers may have provided evidence that the universe may ultimately decay by observing dark energy, a mysterious anti gravity force which is thought to be speeding up the expansion of the cosmos.
For those without a background in quantum theory, the piece describes Schroedinger's cat this way:
But there is an odd feature of the theory that philosophers and scientists still argue about. In a nutshell, the theory suggests that quantum systems can exist in many different physical configurations at the same time. By observing the system, however, we may pick out one single 'quantum state', and therefore force the system to change its configuration.

They often illustrate their concerns about what the theory means in this respect with mind-boggling experiments, notably Schrodinger's cat in which, thanks to a fancy experimental set up, the moggy is both alive and dead until someone decides to look, when it either carries on living, or dies. That is, by one interpretation (by another, the universe splits into two, one with a live cat and one with a dead one.)
How in the world is Al Gore going to stop this one?!?!?!?!

Consider the ramifications of this from an evolutionary point of view. This would mean the universe evolved to a point (humanity) where it created its own destruction. Our mere existence and curiosity is enough. But I thought evolution was driven by survival?

All such concerns concern me from a slightly different aspect. Essentially they place us in the role traditionally reserved for God. You see an atheistic world view does not do away with the need for creation and destruction or the other functions traditionally associated with God - it simply puts other people or things in those roles. And since, to date, we are the only intelligence we know of - we get to be God.

Now, given our behavior to date, I'll take faith in the supernatural any day of the week. Then I won't have to panic about dark matter observation either. Some of the people at Los Alamos thought they were going to ignite the entire atmosphere...

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Illuminated Scripture

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Wednesday, January 23, 2008


Kinder Calvinism

A while backJohn Piper penned a call to being a "kinder" Calvinist. The real heart:
First, we should note that it is simply indisputable that some people are exactly the way he describes. When you see mean extremists in another circle, it reminds you why you don't run with that crowd. But when you see mean extremists in your own circle, it's just plain embarrassing. Unfortunately, until we are perfected there will always be mean people of every theological strain. But fortunately, we are a part of the church not merely for the company, but for Christ.
The problem, you see, is not Calvinism. I have run into mean in all sorts of places - my personal pet peeve is Pentecostals - but that is not what this is about. MEAN IS THE PROBLEM!

People who are so convinced of how right they are that they ignore, belittle, or dismiss anyone that disagrees are the problem. People so convinced of their own righteousness that they think it gives them leave to condemn others are the problem. Such people may hide behind election, or they may hide behind "the gift," or they may hide behind some ecclesiastical office, but they are the problem, not their positions.

Which is, I believe, the heart of the gospel. Jesus did not come to establish schools of theology or denominations - He came to fundamentally change us. Amongst those fundamental changes is the absence of mean.

Piper's right - we should concentrate on that - regardless of your particularly brand.

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Tuesday, January 22, 2008


So, Where Do we Find The Devil?

MMI reprints a story about a pastor that disappeared and it was blamed on a satanic cult when in reality he was just running away. Such stories illustrate how we in the church tend to look at Satan in one of two ways. Either we ignore him altogether, or he is something "out there" that reaches in to grab from us.

But think about strategy here for a minute. Consider Iraq. When invaded the Army just quit and the true believers faded into the woodwork. They now work on an entirely different level. They know they cannot win the stand-up fight so they engage in terrorism, or try to undermine the will and steadfastness of the American people. The choose to corrupt from within rather than fight along defined battle lines.

And so it is with this story. Satan showed himself not in the abduction of the pastor, but in the behavior of the pastor, in corruption. And think how much damage to the church universal has been done by a story like this. Quite a bit if you think about it, we look foolish and silly and profit-driven.

Nope, Satan is alive and well, and I think he hides in the church more than anywhere else. Think what would happen to the gospel if stories like this were not out there. If the church was what it should be.

Where is Satan in your church? Now bear in mind, I did not say "who" - I said "where." He could be in the metric of success you use. He could be in your ego. I don't know, but he is there. Would that we would spend more time looking for him and battling him in our midst.

I wonder what a church-based "Surge" would look like?

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Kitty Kartoons

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Monday, January 21, 2008


Called to Graciousness

Milt Stanley linked to a post on graciousness that listed a number of characteristics of that trait:

I am convinced that more than any single trait a Christian can have, graciousness is the one that will make converts. Simple acts of human kindness will tell people, particularly in this brusk and rapid world that we are different, and what we have is good.

Graciousness is what is missing in the "saved by theology" types. Graciousness is what is missing in "turn-or-burn" evangelism. Graciousness is what is missing in the mega-church; you just cannot be gracious in anything that large.

Review that list again and see if that is not a pretty reasonable description of Jesus, hanging on the cross. Yeah, I think that could save the world.

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Sunday, January 20, 2008


Sermons and Lessons

We are linking to an online sermon this week. Rev. Wes Bredenhof of Langley Canadian Reformed Church on TOTAL DEPRAVITY.

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